Support the shop that supports your campaigns!




‘Stalin Ate My Homework’ with Alexei Sayle
Wednesday 9th April, 7pm

‘Masters of the Airwaves: The Rise & Rise of Underground Radio’ with Dave VJ and Lindsay Wesker
Wednesday 16th April, 7pm

BOB CROW MEMORIAL EVENT ‘Plundering London Underground’ with Janine Booth, and Peter Pinkney
Wednesday 23rd April, 7pm

Hysteria –a feminist periodical, new issue launch with Minna Salami aka MsAfropolitan + more tbc
Saturday 26th April, 6.30pm

‘Ruth First and Joe Slovo in the War to End Apartheid’ with Alan Wieder
Wednesday 30th April, 7pm

‘Eco-Anarchism in the 1970s: London’s Street Farm collective’ with Stephen E. Hunt
Wednesday 14th May, 7pm

‘Against Austerity: How We Can Fix the Crisis They Made’ with Richard Seymour
Wednesday 21st May, 7pm

"Support the shop that supports your campaigns!"



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Monday to Saturday 10am to 6.30pm
Sunday 12 noon to 6pm

Housmans is closed on public holidays.

We're only two minutes' walk from all the Kings Cross and St Pancras rail and underground stations (see Contact/Find Us page for map and directions)


We regularly have a variety of events in the shop, and are always welcome for suggestions from authors, artists and campaigners who want to use the shop for evening events. Past events include talks, book signings, film screenings, art exhibitions and musical performances.

Click here for an archive; which includes a number of selected filmed highlights, of our previous events. Also, you can view video from some special events here.

Click the following button if you would like to directly add our events to your smartphone or desktop calendar using Google Calendar.

‘Stalin Ate My Homework’
with Alexei Sayle

Wednesday 9th April, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Housmans are delighted to welcome comedian and author Alexei Sayle to present the autobiography of his childhood, ‘Stalin Ate My Homework’, which recounts his experience of growing up within a Jewish atheist communist family in Liverpool. There will be time for questions and for signing copies.

“It's not like other comedians' memoirs. It's funny.” (Guardian)

“Sayle's book has charm and substance, both as memoir and history.” (Times Literary Supplement)

“This touching, elegantly written memoir stands out... He looks back on his unconventional youth with comic bewilderment” (Independent on Sunday)

‘Masters of the Airwaves: The Rise & Rise of Underground Radio’
with Dave VJ and Lindsay Wesker

Wednesday 16th April, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Dave VJ and Lindsay Wesker, two of Kiss FM’s founding members, will be at Housmans to discuss their book ‘Masters of the Airwaves: The Rise and Rise of Underground Radio’, which explores the stories of those pioneers who helped bring urban music to a wide audience, first via pirate radio and then on the legal airwaves, and transformed British culture in the process.

This beautifully produced book contains first hand accounts from the black radio pioneers of the 80s and 90s, such as Trevor Nelson, Norman Jay and Jazzie B, to name but a few.

"It’s important to let people know that, because of what we did - in our naive way - years ago, they now have radio that plays (love it or hate it) the black music of today on a legal station...As time went on, lots of my DJ friends changed jobs, got married, left the country, passed away and so on. Lindsay and myself have been friends and music anoraks together for years so, when I decided I wanted to be the person to tell this story, I knew he was the only person who could help me make it come alive." Dave VJ

Please join on us for what I sure to be a fascinating evening.

‘Plundering London Underground’
with Janine Booth, and Peter Pinkney

Wednesday 23rd April, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Due to the sad and untimely death of Bob Crow, who was due to speak at this event, our guests, both comrades of Bob's, will begin the talk with a memorial to Bob, sharing memories and celebrating his legacy.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Our guest’s discuss Janine Booth’s book ‘Plundering London Underground’ (Merlin Press, 2013) which tells the story of infrastructure privatisation on the London Underground - the Public-Private Partnership. Announced by New Labour in 1998, it was implemented in 2003, and by 2010 it had failed. So what went wrong?

Janine says "There are arguments for and against PPP, and I consider some of them, but I have written this book as someone heavily involved in campaigning against this policy. I have seen the damage done! So do not expect me to praise the PPP policy. In my view, lessons need to be learnt and conclusions drawn from this episode in the history of London's Tube system.

I set out a case for public ownership. London Underground does best when it is publicly-owned, unified, under the control of a (preferably, elected) London body, adequately funded, and allowed to operate as a public service rather than a commercial business."

PPP failed because privatisation incentivises managers to earn money for themselves, shareholders, and lawyers, neglecting service improvements, safety and the needs of the disabled.

Published during London Underground's 150th birthday year, this book draws extensively on interviews with managers and Tube workers; it both sketches the history of the Underground and looks to the future: we need a transport plan, one that involves passengers and workers, one that prioritises public service.

Janine will be joined by RMT National President Peter Pinkney.


'HYSTERIA - a collection of feminisms'

with guest speakers including
Minna Salami aka MsAfropolitan, Gabriella Daris and Mushana

Saturday 26th April, 6.30pm

Free entry

HYSTERIA is a non-profit radical feminist periodical and platform launching its second issue themed ”Roles & Rules”. At this launch speakers will include Minna Salami aka MsAfropolitan who will discuss African feminism and identity, Gabriella Daris on Un/concealment in Yoko Ono's Cut Piece: Rethinking Feminsit Approaches to Nudity, and finally Mushana ( will perform at the end.

HYSTERIA was founded six months ago at SOAS and grew out of feminist discussions and concerns in the SOAS Feminist Society. HYSTERIA is a feminist periodical and a platform for activism, politics and solidarity. The periodical strives to expose power relations that have become naturalised and entrenched through illusions of equality. It believes that feminism is a universal concern and not reserved for a selected few. It should be spread across discussions between all walks of life.

Therefore, HYSTERIA harbours multiple streams of feminisms. This is a direct outcome of the webs of distinct and overlapping feminist narratives of struggles and oppression. It insists on the equality of all, through a continuous discussion on what equality entails, refusing to settle on a rigid definition. HYSTERIA starkly opposes ideologies, philosophies, and belief-systems that have generated the fantasy of feminism as a property, commodity or craze and believes that these ideas reproduce merginalisation, deprivation and inequity.

Bjørk Grue Lidin | Awa Konate | Nakeya B. | Christina Cooke | Elssie Ansareo | Mathias Klitgaard Sørensen | Jago Rackham | The Guerrilla Girls | Alx | Marie Hugo | Katrya | Henri Maccheroni | Caconrad | Gabriella Daris | Yoko Ono | Amy King | Rawan Al Ramahi | Hannah Hoch | Dr. Rebecca Steinfeld | Tove Lyssarides | Steven C. Harvey| Yasmine Akim | Dr. Fuambai Sia Ahmadu | Dr. Ghada Hashem Talhami | Stephen Burt | Ruthie Bubis | Zara Powell | Hari Rajaledchumy | Susan Brownmiller | Le Roy | Ella Achola | Rita Banerji | Eseohe Arbehamen aka Edoheart | John Dunbar | Oliver | Tara Elizabeth Cooper | Barnita Bagchi | Sophy Rickett | Anthony | Hargrave Jennings | Tamiko Beyer

Issue 2: Roles & Rules



‘Ruth First and Joe Slovo in the War to End Apartheid’
with Alan Wieder

Wednesday 30th April, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

On a rare visit from America, distinguished academic Alan Wieder discusses his new book ‘Ruth First and Joe Slovo in the War to End Apartheid’, the first extended biography of the husband and wife who committed their lives to the war to end apartheid in South Africa.  Communists, scholars, parents, and uncompromising militants, they were the perfect enemies for the white police state. Together they were swept up in the growing resistance to apartheid, and together they experienced repression and exile.

Their contributions to the liberation struggle, as individuals and as a couple, are undeniable. Ruth agitated tirelessly for the overthrow of apartheid, first in South Africa and then from abroad, and Joe directed much of the armed struggle carried out by the infamous Umkhonto we Sizwe (abbreviated as MK, translated as "Spear of the Nation"). Only one of them, however, would survive to see the fall of the old regime and the founding of a new, democratic South Africa. 

Wieder’s heavily researched work draws on the usual primary and secondary sources but also an extensive oral history that he has collected over many years. By intertwining the documentary record with personal interviews, he portrays the complexities and contradictions of this extraordinary couple and their efforts to navigate a time of great tension, upheaval, and revolutionary hope. 

Alan Wieder is an oral historian who lives in Portland, Oregon. He is distinguished professor emeritus at the University of South Carolina and has also taught at the University of the Western Cape and Stellenbosch University in South Africa. He has written widely on South Africans who fought against the apartheid regime.

‘Eco-Anarchism in the 1970s: London’s Street Farm collective’
with Stephen E. Hunt

Wednesday 14th May, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Stephen E. Hunt will discuss his new book ‘The Revolutionary Urbanism of Street Farm’ (Tangent, 2014) which examines the innovative ecological work of Street Farm, a collective of anarchist architects who brought urban farming to 1970s London.

Three friends, Peter Crump, Bruce Haggart and Graham Caine put together Street Farmer, an underground paper that, alongside mutating tower blocks, cosmic tractors and sprouting one-way signs, propagated ideas for the radical transformation of urban living, which they called ‘revolutionary urbanism’.

Taking inspiration from Situationism and social ecology, Street Farm offered a powerful vision of green cities in the control of ordinary people. As well as being exponents of autonomous housing and radical technology, they became ‘rock ’n’ roll architects’, going on the road across Europe to promote their ideas with multimedia slideshow presentations to a recorded soundtrack of music by the likes of John Lennon, Jefferson Airplane and Hawkwind.

In 1972 Caine designed and built ‘Street Farmhouse’ with his friends at Eltham. It hit national and international headlines as the first structure intentionally constructed as an ecological house, appearing on an early BBC documentary introduced by a youthful Melvin Bragg. While their fame was brief, their ongoing influence on green and community architecture has been more enduring and remains an inspiration for all those who want to turn the dream of a greener city into a reality.

‘Against Austerity: How We Can Fix the Crisis They Made’
with Richard Seymour

Wednesday 21st May, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Richard Seymour will talk about his new book ‘Against Austerity’ (Pluto Press, 2014), which addresses a puzzling aspect of our current situation, after five years of capitalist crisis, cuts and economic pain across the world: why are the rich still getting away with it? Why is protest so ephemeral? Why does the left appear to be marginal to political life?

In an analysis which challenges our understanding of capitalism, class and ideology, Richard Seymour shows how ‘austerity’ is just one part of a wider elite plan to radically re-engineer society and everyday life in the interests of profit, consumerism and speculative finance.

However, Seymour argues that once we turn to face the headwinds of this new reality, dispensing with reassuring dogmas, we can forge new collective resistance and alternatives to the current system. Following Brecht, ‘Against Austerity’ argues that the good old things are over, it's time to confront the bad new ones.

Richard Seymour is the author of ‘Unhitched: the Trial of Christopher Hitchens’ (2012), ‘American Insurgents: A Brief History of American Anti-Imperialism’ (2012), ‘The Meaning of David Cameron’ (2010) and ‘The Liberal Defence of Murder’ (2008). He writes regularly for the Guardian and runs the popular blog Lenin’s Tomb.



Housmans Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Road, King’s Cross,
London, N1 9DX
tel: 020 7837 4473